Atlantis the lost empire: Resource and Construction
The Atlanteans were so vigorous and intelligent, so adept at developing their arts and technology and so industrious in exploiting the resources of the islands, that they soon established the world's first and finest civilization. They dug out of the earth whatever was to be found there, solid as well as fusible, and that which is now only a name and was then something more than a name, orichalcum, was dug out of the earth in many parts of the island, being more precious in those days than anything except gold. There was an abundance of wood for carpenter's work, and sufficient maintenance for tame and wild animals. Moreover, there were a great number of elephants in the island; for as there was provision for all other sorts of animals, both for those which live in lakes and marshes and rivers, and also for those which live in mountains and on plains, so there was for the animal which is the largest and most voracious of all.
Also whatever fragrant things there now are in the earth, whether roots, or herbage, or woods, or essences which distil from fruit and flowers, grew and thrived on the land; also the fruit which admits of cultivation, both the dry sort, which is given us for nourishment and any other which we use for food-; we call them all by the common name pulse, and the fruits having a hard rind, affording drinks and meats and ointments, and good store of chestnuts and the like, which provide pleasure and amusement, and are fruits which spoil with keeping, and the pleasant kinds of dessert, with which we comfort ourselves after dinner, when we are tired of eating; all these that sacred island which then beheld the light of the sun, brought forth fair and wondrous and in infinite abundance.
Construction Projects in Atlantean Zones
With such blessings the earth freely furnished them; meanwhile they went on constructing their temples and palaces and harbors and docks. And they arranged the whole country in the following manner. First of all they bridged over the zones of sea which surrounded the ancient metropolis, making a road to and from the royal palace. And at the very beginning they built the palace in the habitation of the god and of their ancestors, which they continued to ornament in successive generations, every king surpassing the one who went before him to the utmost of his power, until they made the building a marvel to behold for size and for beauty.
And beginning from the sea they bored a canal of three hundred feet in width and one hundred feet in depth and fifty stadia in length, which they carried through to the outermost zone, making a passage from the sea up to this, which became a harbor, and leaving an opening sufficient to enable the largest vessels to find ingress.
Moreover, they divided at the bridges the zones of land 30 which parted the zones of sea, leaving room for a single trireme to pass out of one zone into another, and they covered over the channels so as to leave a way underneath for the ships; for the banks were raised considerably above the water.
Now the largest of the zones into which a passage was cut from the sea was three stadia in breadth, and the zone of land which came next of equal breadth; but the next two zones, the one of water, the other of land, were two stadia, and the one which surrounded the central island was a stadium only in width.